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LDF sustainability appraisal

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Achieving sustainable development through planning

The achievement of sustainable development is the core principle underpinning the reformed planning system. Planning authorities need to ensure that sustainable development is treated in an integrated way in their development plans; this involves carefully considering the inter-relationship between:

  • Social inclusion
  • Protecting and enhancing the environment
  • Prudent use of natural resources
  • Economic development

Sustainability Appraisal and Strategic Environmental Assessment

Sustainability appraisal is a tool that helps in the achievement of sustainable development, through appraising the social, environmental and economic effects of a plan from the outset; it is integral to the plan making process. At Wiltshire Council, it performs a key role in providing a sound evidence base for planning documents and forms an integrated part of the Local Development Framework process.

Sustainability appraisal became mandatory for development plans under the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004. It incorporates an environmental assessment in accordance with the requirements of European Directive 2001/42/EC, which is commonly known as the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) directive.

Sustainability Appraisal scoping stage

The initial scoping stage sets the context and objectives for the sustainability appraisal, establishes the sustainability baseline and decides on the scope of the ongoing process. Early and effective community engagement through the scoping of the sustainability appraisal and engagement with key delivery stakeholders is a key component of sustainability appraisal.

Scoping consists mainly of:

  • identifying relevant policies, plans, programmes
  • collecting baseline information
  • identifying the sustainability issues in Wiltshire
  • establishing a framework containing a set of appraisal objectives

Information contained within the Scoping Report will form the basis of the appraisal of Local Development Framework documents.

Draft Sustainability Appraisal Scoping Report consultation responses

A Draft Sustainability Appraisal Scoping Report, meeting the requirements of the SEA Directive, was published and consulted upon for a five week period from 12th January 2009 to 16th February 2009. This consultation included the three statutory environmental organisations and a wide range of other organisations.  

The ‘Sustainability Appraisal: Statement of Community Engagement’ documents the consultation process that took place in 2009; it includes a summary of all consultation comments received, and the Council’s response to these comments. This information can be viewed as downloadable pdf documents, as follows:

On 7th April 2009, the Implementation Executive considered the Draft Sustainability Appraisal Scoping Report. A copy of the report to the Implementation Executive is available to download below:

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Revised Sustainability Appraisal Scoping Report - April 2010

A revised version of the Scoping Report was published in April 2010 which takes account of all comments received through the public consultation exercise. The Scoping Report takes the form of a main report, non-technical summary and a number of topic papers, and these can be downloaded as follows:

These documents will be revised periodically to reflect any relevant changes in the sustainability baseline and sustainability issues in Wiltshire.

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Draft Sustainability Appraisal Scoping Report - January 2009

The initial Draft Sustainability Appraisal Scoping Report, published in January 2009, can be downloaded through the following links:

Where can copies of the Scoping Report be found?

Copies of the scoping documents can be downloaded from the links above or copies can be requested by contacting the Spatial Planning Team. Copies of the revised Scoping Report can also be viewed at Wiltshire Council planning offices in Trowbridge, Devizes, Salisbury and Chippenham.

Scoping Report Addendum

The council has produced a Scoping Report Addendum document. The purpose of this addendum is to provide an updated evidence base for the sustainability appraisal process that is currently being undertaken on the Wiltshire Core Strategy, and potentially for the assessment of future local development documents within Wiltshire’s Local Development Framework (LDF). This document can be viewed or downloaded from the link below:

Previous sustainability appraisal work undertaken by former district authorities

The Wiltshire Council Sustainability Appraisal Scoping Report builds on sustainability appraisal work already completed by the former district authorities.

You can view previous sustainability work undertaken by the former district councils, with the exception of Salisbury, through the link below.

Sustainability work already undertaken towards the Salisbury Core Strategy is available through the following link:

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Contact Details (LiveLink)

Multiple Contacts:
eMail: spatialplanningpolicy@wiltshire.gov.uk
Telephone: 01225 713223
Out of hours:
Postal Address:

Spatial Planning Team
Wiltshire Council
County Hall
Bythesea Road
BA14 8JN

In Person:

Last updated: 20 February 2012


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Spatial Planning Team
Wiltshire Council
County Hall
Bythesea Road
BA14 8JN